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sliced july

Updated: Mar 26, 2023

I wake up to July, water-bloated on the bed

next to me and I know, going home has never

been impossible until now. July lays me down

to split my ribs like a tender thing. The rot

from its hands metastasizes into my lungs and

now the battleground is myself instead of a

stranger; July makes of me a whetstone, a

killing knife, a wishbone to snap open. Here I

am stuck in this place again, this year’s

heatwave slicing choice cuts from my insides

and leaving the rest for carrion. Do you think

this body will survive me? July calls to me,

saying, my Orpheus, my Eurydice, my fever-

sweet Persephone and I’m telling it, I don’t

want your death but I bite into the pomegranate

one last time—the implication of flesh, my

bone-white teeth glistening red. I want to learn

what it feels like to worship someone and have

them walk away from you. I want a second life

where I become more than the sum of everything

I did to survive. July pushes me against a wall

and slips a knife between my shoulder blades

as if I’ll birth wings from the scar. This doesn’t

feel exciting anymore; the slaughterhouse drain

and bullet to the head and tolling death knell

all at once.

Editor(s): Phoebe He, Blenda Yan, Alisha Burney


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